(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser broke ground on The Wren, a mixed-use development at 965 Florida Avenue, NW that will produce more than 430 apartment units, including 132 units of affordable housing, and a new Whole Foods Market grocery store. Additionally, the development comes with more than $500,000 in community benefits to support local hiring, businesses and entrepreneurship, and street, sidewalk, and intersection improvements at Florida Avenue and Sherman Avenue, NW.
“These types of projects are how we are creating pathways to the middle class for Washingtonians – through building more affordable housing, ensuring more residents have access to jobs and service-rich neighborhoods, and connecting community-based programs like In3 to the resources they need to support local entrepreneurs,” said Mayor Bowser.
The community benefits include a $200,000 grant to the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region to support job training for residents and employers within a one-mile radius of the site; $118,462 to Shaw Main Streets for locally-based retailers to make capital improvements to their storefronts or other exterior improvements; $142,155 to Howard University to subsidize costs associated with Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3), the business incubator joint venture between DC Government and Howard University; and $100,000 to In3 to help the incubator provide space and resources to under-resourced members.
“Our goal with every DMPED real estate project is to provide for the best economic and community benefit possible,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner. “We delivered that with 965 Florida Avenue, NW – making sure we continue to add affordable housing in every ward of the city, both construction and permanent jobs, a grocery store, and also further investment in the economic prosperity of the greater neighborhood.”
The Wren project will also bring improvements to the intersection of Florida Avenue and Sherman Avenue, the sidewalks, and streetscape, making the area safer for pedestrians and motorists.
Since coming into office, the Bowser Administration has sparked the creation or preservation of more than 9,600 affordable units, with another 3,300 units in preconstruction. In Fiscal Year 2017, the District made historic investments in affordable housing, getting more than $138 million in Housing Production Trust Fund financing out the door to support 23 projects that will produce or preserve more than 1,900 affordable units.
The Mayor was joined at the groundbreaking by Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, Deputy Mayor Kenner, community members, representatives from Whole Foods Market, and the development partners of MRP Realty, JBG Smith Companies and Ellis Development.